Effects of High Carbohydrate Supplementation on Hepatic Mitochondrial Metabolism

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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major public health issue affecting over 75 million patients and over 70% of patients that suffer from Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and obesity. Previous research has demonstrated that progression of NAFLD is accompanied by liver mitochondria adaptation and eventual dysfunction as they fail to respond to the influx of free fatty acids and the metabolic actions of insulin. The aim of this study was to elucidate the effects of high carbohydrate supplementation on mitochondrial metabolism, specifically the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, of hepatocytes utilizing a metabolomics centered approach. Data obtained through gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) suggest that LF and HC fed animals exhibit higher mitochondrial (TCA) activity compared to their HF counterparts. Short-term increased mitochondrial activity suggests an increased robust metabolic response, however, long-term effects may be detrimental to metabolic flexibility through increased production of reactive oxygen species. While the comprehensive effects of high carbohydrate supplementation on metabolism are still under investigation, these results suggest that diets high in carbohydrates may lead to exacerbation of mitochondria, and ultimately metabolic dysfunction.